Delhi excise scam case: Court extends judicial custody of K Kavitha; HC seeks ED response in medical bail plea of Hyderabad businessman

Arun Ramachandra Pillai, arrested by the ED in March 2023, sought interim bail for eight weeks for medical reasons including back pain.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 04, 2024 | 6:59 AMUpdatedJun 04, 2024 | 8:45 AM

Arun Pillai

A Delhi court on Monday, 3 June, extended till 3 July the judicial custody of BRS leader and Telangana MLC K Kavitha in a money laundering case linked to the alleged excise scam.

Special Judge Kaveri Baweja extended the custody after Kavitha was produced before the court in pursuance of its earlier order issuing a production warrant against her.

Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court sought a response from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on a plea by Hyderabad businessman Arun Ramachandran Pillai seeking interim bail on medical grounds.

A vacation bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma issued a notice to the ED and asked it to verify the medical reports placed on record by Pillai.

The court asked the agency to file a reply to the interim bail plea along with a verification report and listed it for further hearing on 10 June.

Also Read: ED opposes Kavitha’s bail plea, says release would affect probe to unearth conspiracy

Charges against Kavitha

The court had issued the warrants after taking cognisance of a charge sheet against Kavitha — daughter of former Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao — in the case on 29 May.

The court also granted bail to three co-accused persons — Prince, Damodar and Arvind Singh.

The three accused were chargesheeted without being arrested during the investigation by the ED.

Kavitha is in judicial custody in the two cases lodged by the ED and the CBI in the alleged scam.

Charges against Kavitha are that she was one of the kingpins and key conspirators, and beneficiary of the tweaked Delhi liquor policy, which has since been scrapped.

The ED had alleged that Kavitha was one among those who are part of South Group — allegedly a cartel of liquor businessmen and politicians — which paid ₹100 crore in kickbacks to AAP for tweaking the liquor policy in such a way that it helped them reap undue benefits in the liquor business.

Also Read: ‘Going back to jail as I raised voice against dictatorship’ says Delhi CM Kejriwal

Pillai cites medical reasons

Pillai, who was arrested by the ED in March last year, sought interim bail for eight weeks for medical reasons including back pain.

In the petition, he claimed that the doctors at an ayurvedic clinic in Kerala had opined that he needed to be admitted there for a 21-day ‘Panchakarma Therapy’ with further bed rest of 21 days.

Pillai was arrested by the ED on 6 March, 2023 following allegations that he represented the “South Group” at meetings with other accused when the 2021 excise policy was being formulated and implemented.

The excise policy was scrapped in 2022 after the Delhi lieutenant governor ordered a CBI probe into alleged irregularities and corruption involving its formulation and execution.

The ED has claimed that Pillai is a close aide of Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K Kavitha, daughter of former Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao, and the frontman for the South Group. Kavitha is also in custody in the case.

(With PTI inputs)